Once you visit an agriturismo and feel like an Italian family has taken you in and made you a part of their lives, even for just a few days, it’s pretty addictive. From north to south, these are some of the most stunning, enjoyable, and hospitable agriturismos that I’ve had the pleasure of visiting (or coveting a visit to) over the years.
I always gathered farm stays were just that. A stay. On a farm. But on a recent in-depth trip to the Le Marche region – one of those historically-rich, agriculturally-blessed areas that somehow people never go to – I found out I was dead wrong.
In Italy, it has become popular to seek out farm stay accommodation. It doesn’t mean you have to get up at the crack of dawn to help feed the cows or pound the butter – although, no doubt your hosts would love it if you do!
At last I’ve found the Italy holiday experience I’ve been looking for since before I first travelled to Europe. When I first read about the Italian setup of ‘Agriturismos’ I imagined experiencing an idyllic Italian farm with olive groves and a big kitchen where people gather to cook and eat and drink. A place to be close to the land and people, delving into the cultural traditions of a region. I have enjoyed the agriturismos we have stayed at in other parts of Italy but they were all simply B&Bs (or airBnBs before airBnB was invented) set in the Italian countryside. Absolutely lovely but not what I had in mind. But at last I’ve found it. Here in the Marche region of Italy, Roberto Feretti has created a sustainable tourism dream. Where he shares the riches of this stunning hidden gem of Italian countryside and has evolved a ‘tourism of relationship’ at La Scentella, a place where nature, food and friendship blend to create an experience that awakens the senses. This golden-stoned farmhouse nestled on …
Longer-term travel often means being away from friends and family for extended periods of time. Sometimes this can come as a much welcome break, but inevitably some home-sickness pangs will pluck at heart-strings before too long. Many savvy travellers will no doubt opt to travel lightly and avoid packing too many sentimental home trinkets. Whether you are uprooted for work, study, pleasure, or otherwise, there is no way, as yet, to package up your established network and the intangible values of a community that you will be leaving behind – a favourite local organic shops; the barista who knows your coffee order; the park on the corner.
At the opening of Tribewanted’s new site in Italy, social entrepreneur Ben Keene talked about the site, the future and creating new sustainable tourism models.
Fancy starting your day milking a cow? Or perhaps a morning workout of kneading a kilo of flour and 20 eggs to make Umbrian cheese bread (a sort of savory panettone)? Tribewanted is a series of communities aiming to operate in a completely sustainable manner from financing to staffing and architecture to agriculture where you can start the day just like this.